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Hop on a school bus for a special Earth Day tour focused on Windsor’s trees led by Jim Govoni, Tree Warden for the Town of Windsor.  This day marks the 48th anniversary of Earth Day, which has been called the largest civic event in the world, celebrated by a billion participants world-wide. That first Earth Day in 1970 resulted in increased public consciousness of the environment and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Jim Govoni is a font of information. He’ll show you memorial trees on the town green and in the Veteran’s Cemetery, the thirty-six elm trees he planted as part of an America the Beautiful grant, sugar maples he planted at Northwest Park that provide the syrup for their famous pancake breakfasts, and old growth trees in Windsor.

Jim has tips on how to identify tree species, and he’ll share information about how urban forests are managed. For instance, globalism has brought a variety of destructive insects and diseases into this country; most middle-aged and elderly Americans can remember town greens framed by the shade of gorgeous elm trees, largely destroyed by disease by the 1980s. A generation earlier, another blight was obliterating virtually all of the nation’s chestnut trees, largely absent from the landscape by 1950.

With this history in mind, urban foresters plant a variety of trees in proximity, avoiding monocultures. Urban foresters maximize the urban canopy but must minimize liability. Jim Govoni has planted shade trees near schools which generally lack air conditioning (this comes in useful during hot days in June!) but must avoid trees with thorns and poisonous berries in a landscape where children play. Learn more about the priorities of urban foresters, pick up some tips on responsible tree planting (not too close to home or power lines) and end the tour with renewed appreciation for how trees enhance our town.


$12 adults, $11 seniors and students, $10 WHS members

Photo credit: Autumn foliage on Remington Road. WHS collections 2017.37.76, photo by Daniel Howard, courtesy of Michael Taylor.

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